December 31, 2019
Good Habits in the New Year
Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. – Psalm 119:34
Recently, one of our young ministers told about a neighbor’s chickens that wandered a few hundred yards up the road and into his yard. At first, he thought this was kind of neat, and they were fun to watch. The chickens began making themselves at home in his yard regularly. One day, someone mentioned that the chickens were in a flowerbed that he had just planted. In fact, they had nested down and mashed his pansies. He no longer thought watching the chickens was fun.
Another problem was that the rooster and hens had taken up residence in a small draw close to his house, and every morning, at about 4:30, the rooster began to crow. To make things worse, the air conditioning unit in his house had broken during a hot spell, and the family needed to sleep with their windows wide open. He said that when the rooster crowed, it sounded as though it were perched on his nightstand! This was the end of the love affair with the chickens.
He finally told his children it was “open season” on the chickens—they could throw anything they wanted to get the chickens out of the yard. He even went so far as to chase the chickens down the road in the early morning—still wearing his robe!
The minister’s point was that sometimes things which seem harmless can creep into our lives and then turn out to be very bad. Certain habits can be that way; at first, they may not seem so bad, but if they are ignored, they create problems. If we are not careful to keep God’s law and observe His Word with our whole hearts, we can fall into some bad habits that will make our lives much more difficult in the long run.
Today, rather than making New Year’s Resolutions—which are famous for falling by the wayside—let us simply choose to cultivate good habits and have an “open season” on any bad habits that may have tried to take hold in our lives. It is a good habit to read and pray each day. It is a good habit to pray before and after church services. It is a good habit to ask the Lord to search our hearts and to respond quickly to His promptings. With God’s help, we can maintain good habits throughout this next year!